A warm hello here from Heather. As I launch into writing for this “Faithful Eating and Living” column, I want to share a bit about who I am and why I feel called to contribute. For me, this is an invitation to share a love story. Food connects me to everything I love: growing, cooking, eating, and sharing good tasting food. Appreciating food is a gift: remembering where it is from, being grateful for how it can nourish body, soul and planet–these are all part of the love story. You could say I am passionate about everything from plot to plate. As a means of introduction, let me share more about my foodie self.
I am a gardener. We steward a 20-acre homestead in Vermont, Meadow View Farm; this land has been in my Vermont family for seven generations. With ever-expanding vegetable gardens, orchards, and vineyards, we are increasingly creating an edible forest landscape attentive to regenerative agriculture practices by using permaculture principles that rebuild soil, restore biodiversity, draw down carbon and improve water cycles.
I am a flockster. I’ve raised chickens ever since I was 6 years old and currently cohabitate with over 80 landrace chickens, mostly laying hens. Lots of life (and death) lessons have been learned in the hen house.
I am a dietitian. My career as an expert in food and nutrition spans twenty years now. I’m grateful to help translate the often confusing and conflicting nutrition advice clients receive into simple, doable and delicious actions.
I am a nutrition gatekeeper (the primary meal planner, grocery shopper, cook) for our family of five. As a mom of three elementary aged children, I appreciate the importance and challenge of putting together balanced sit-down meals that will be satisfying.
I am a cookbook author. My book, Sustainable Kitchen (Herald Press, 2020) is the first vegetarian offering within MennoMedia’s stellar lineup of Mennonite cookbooks.
I am a flexitarian, someone who eats predominately plants, but is flexible to include some animal foods eaten mindfully and in moderation. At home, we cook vegetarian but will honorably harvest our own roosters for the crock pot or freezer. If we are to eat any meat, it feels important to be in touch, literally, with the process of taking a life.
I am a creation care liaison within the Mennonite church, championing what it looks like to live faithfully in the era of climate change.
I am a Vermont Master Composter, advocating and educating about food waste reduction and recycling of food scraps.
I am a Wild Church leader. I co-worship lead monthly outdoor gatherings year round where we connect spiritually with God, with each other and with the land as beloved community.
All of these various roles are part of one core identity: I am a child of God. I desire to live into the call of faithful living as it relates to food, feeling rooted and growing into who the Creator made me to be. I invite you to journey with me in the months ahead as this love story continues to unfold.